*** DEBUG END ***

Eight dioceses win Renewal and Reform grants of £10.5 million for church growth projects 

14 July 2017

Creative Commons

Renewing town-centre churches: King Charles the Martyr, Falmouth, in Cornwall

Renewing town-centre churches: King Charles the Martyr, Falmouth, in Cornwall

IN THE latest grants under the Renewal and Reform programme, eight dioceses have been given a total of £10.5 million for projects that seek church growth.

This is the fifth tranche of Stra­­­tegic Development Funding from the Church Commissioners since the method of distributing funds was changed in 2014 (News, 16 January 2015, 21 October 2016).

Since the shake-up to the funding formula, half of the Commissioners’ money for ministry is reserved for dioceses to bid for, to support new initiatives that will make “a signifi­cant difference to their mission and financial health”. So far, £34.6 mil­­lion has been given to dioceses through this stream.

The dioceses to benefit from the latest grants are Coventry, Guild­­ford, Hereford, London, St Albans, Salisbury, Southwell & Nottingham, and Truro.

Salisbury diocese has been given £1.27 million to spend on boosting rural ministry. The Bishop of Salis­bury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, said: “On an average Sunday, 40 per cent of those wor­­­shipping in the Church of England do so in a rural setting.

“We are delighted that Salisbury is developing as a centre of excel­­lence in which rural ministry and mission is developed and encour­­aged with imagination and flair.”

The diocese’s scheme will include rural placements for young adults who are considering ordination, a new training pathway with Sarum College to equip ordinands for the specific challenges of ministry in the countryside, and “seed-corn fund­ing” for parishes that wish to launch new mission projects.

The diocese of Hereford has been awarded £525,000 for its project to increase intergenerational mission. The diocese will appoint six new mis­­sioners to work with people un­­­con­­nected to church, and, in parti­cular, the young.

The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Richard Frith, said that the grant was an “encouraging affirma­­tion of our praying, plan­­ning, and working for spiritual and numerical growth”.

Truro will use its grant of £1.2 million to renew town-centre churches, beginning with those in Fal­­mouth. The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, said: “We pray and hope that this will lead to a transformation of parochial life, and we will be able to learn from this project so we can encourage other areas of the diocese to flourish and grow. There is a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm.”

The Archbishops’ Council’s dir­ector of Renewal and Reform, Mike Eastwood, said: “Re­­­newal and Re­­­form is about a grow­­ing Church in and for all people and in and for all places. The hope that each of these projects gives for a positive future for mission and ministry at the local level is inspiring.”

Salisbury’s new funding for rural ministry was announced in the same week as a lobby group, The Rural Collection, chaired by the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, warned that the countryside could be left behind after Brexit.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)